No products in the cart.
After the White Sox hired Tony La Russa, I mentioned that they tend to get the outcome they deserve from their insane unwillingness to try a normal managerial hiring process even once.
So it makes sense that ESPN reported tonight that La Russa was arrested for driving under the influence in February, and charged a day before he was hired.
On Feb. 24 at 11:40 p.m., a peace officer responded to a call and found La Russa standing alongside his SUV, according to an affidavit filed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. La Russa told the officer, who had detected a “light odor of alcoholic beverage,” that he had been at a dinner with friends from the Los Angeles Angels, for whom he was working as a special advisor. He was stopped near the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and he told the officer he had hit something and had a tire blow out, according to the affidavit. After a field sobriety test, La Russa was taken into custody. In the affidavit, the peace officer described him as “argumentative.”
La Russa refused to submit to a breath test or provide a sample of his blood or urine to test his blood-alcohol level, according to the affidavit, and the officer obtained a search warrant to take two tubes of La Russa’s blood. That is a common procedure for DUI cases in Arizona, said Michael Munoz, a Phoenix-area DUI criminal defense attorney who is not affiliated with the case.
And they definitely deserve every ugly consequence here, because the White Sox knew it when they hired La Russa.
This is La Russa’s second DUI arrest. The first came back in 2007, when he fell asleep in his car at a stoplight during spring training in Jupiter, Fla. La Russa pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and said in a statement, “I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again.”
Now that we know what La Russa’s word means, it’s time for the White Sox to cut him loose. It’s also time for Jerry Reinsdorf to personally take responsibility for an embarrassment that he personally forced upon an organization whose employees made it clear, through passive voice and anonymous grumblings, that they never signed off on this. But Reinsdorf wouldn’t be Reinsdorf if he responded to public anger for any of his mistakes, because then he might actually learn something from them. Instead, he’s defiantly striding in the opposite direction, making decisions that have layers of pants-soiling already baked in. Let’s see how many different White Sox executives are forced to take the heat for this, and for how long.
UPDATE (9:26 p.m.): The only reporter Reinsdorf talks to reports that “a high-ranking White Sox official told USA TODAY Sports that La Russa is no danger of losing his job, or any discipline by the club.” This would allow La Russa to save face by quitting, saying that he doesn’t want to be a distraction or something along those lines. However, this also enables the White Sox to embarrass themselves further, so it’s hard to tell which way this will break.
(Photo by Gage Skidmore)